In short, J.P. Harris plays Country Music. Not "Americana," not "Roots," "Folk," or any other number of monikers used to describe a slew of spin-off genres; he plays from the foundation of these styles, the music that has influenced four generations of songwriters. In a world where prefixes have been added to the term "Country," JP simply sticks to the old-fashioned sounds that have called to him.
Born six minutes before Valentine's Day in Montgomery AL in 1983, JP's life was to be full of color, travel, hardship, and grace from the day he first saw the world. After more than six generations in Alabama, his family would leave seeking work, first to California and then on to Nevada. He left home on foot at the age of 14, traveling via thumb and freight train, living the next 4 years mostly from a backpack, tarp, and bedroll. Eventually landing in the northeast, he worked as a farm laborer, equipment operator, lumberjack, luthier, and carpenter.
His latest album "Home Is Where The Hurt Is" (produced by Harris, guitarist Adam Meisterhans, and engineer Justin Francis) was recorded and mixed at Ronnie's Place (formerly the personal studio of Ronnie Milsap) at home in Nashville. It features not your typical Music Row studio musicians, but young local players, many of whom have spent thousands of miles on the road in JP's backing band The Tough Choices. Lending a hand on the album vocally is friend and local Indie-Country star Nikki Lane, as well as long-time friend Chance McCoy, singer and guitarist of Old Crow Medicine Show (McCoy also took rhythm and lead guitar in addition to fiddle duties throughout the album.)
When he isn't touring, JP can usually be found repairing an old house, splitting wood in his backyard, or digging through the trash for useable refuse.
Miss Tess got her musical start at home in Maryland; her parents would sing her to sleep with the gentle, tender sounds of American folk songs, occasionally interrupted by their 30s swing band rehearsing in the basement. Tess studied piano as a child, and as a teenager took up the guitar and singing, eventually began her own studies in early jazz and blues. All grown up and currently living in Nashville, Miss Tess regularly steals the show at venues with something a little rowdier and more eclectic. Infused with classic country and honky-tonk, southern rhythm & blues, New Orleans jazz and swing,
and sounds of swamp pop and early rock n’ roll, she is an embodiment of everything that it still home-grown in America. "Eclectic, jazzy, old school and interesting. She is real. And she is rare." – No Depression
On her newest release Baby, We All Know, Miss Tess continues to explore her own personal crossroads of American roots music. This full-length release features eleven finely crafted and well-sung original songs. Heightened by Tess’
prowess on her Weymann archtop guitar, she is accompanied by top-notch musicians, featuring her touring guitar player ace and co-conspirator Thomas Bryan Eaton. A follow up to 2012’s Sweet Talk and 2013’s The Love I Have for You, both released on Signature Sounds Recordings, Baby, We All Know was released independently and received accolades in the press as well as reaching the Top 20 in AMA Radio Charts and being included in the top 100 albums of the year for 2016.
“An amalgamation of country-blues music with influences from artists both old and new, Baby, We All Know is decidedly old school. Miss Tess & The Talk backs have truly crafted a winner.”– Paste
Tess says “In writing these tunes I stepped out of myself and into many different characters, based on real life and my imagination, and pulled sounds and stories from my musical fantasy land. Baby, we all know their secrets and on goings, in a world of mischief and fun.” These songs were penned at Tess’s yearly writing retreat in New Hampshire, and at her home in Nashville. Yet time and place don’t bear much relevance here; the subjects she speaks through live in the streets of New Orleans, in the backwoods hollers of Tennessee, on a train heading to Mexico, and under the sheets.
“Miss Tess has always drawn from a broad palette, but there’s another impressive songwriter in her catalogue: herself.” – The Boston Globe
Miss Tess has been releasing albums and leading a touring band for over a decade, spanning her career over many different cities including Baltimore, Boston, NYC, and her new home base of Nashville, TN. As she expands and grows more into her own sound, Tess is still hard to categorical. She says “Many times after the show somebody will come up to compliment the band and ask me what kind of music we just played. After mumbling through a few different genres I usually just tell them it’s my music and hope they enjoyed the show”. Time after time, Miss Tess is able to sounds and styles from a past era combined with modern sensibilities combined with classic, compelling vocals to present an authentic and engaging presence.
“Miss Tess renders original songs with a self-possession and naturalness that heralds one of the most enjoyable albums this year.” – Downbeat